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Family Communication Patterns, Inoculation theory, And Adolescent Substance-Abuse Prevention: Harnessing Post-Inoculation Talk And Family Communication Environments To Spread Positive Influence

Compton, Josh and Craig, Elizabeth A. – 2019

Inoculation theory offers a robust way to combat substance abuse among children. The theory can guide a messaging strategy that prepares for challenges before they are fully experienced. We argue that inoculation as a messaging strategy could be made even more robust by harnessing family communication patterns and post‐inoculation talk to lead to more, and better, parent–child dialogue. We build on the literature on inoculation and family communication patterns to offer four propositions to guide future work in this area, including the efficacy of inoculating parents against tendencies to avoid conversations about substance abuse with their children and the likelihood of inoculation‐based messages leading to continuing talk in families.